Backhand surfing: power to your arms and feet

A complete surfer uses all trumps to perform better, from good to great. Backside surfing is always relevant, even if you don't enjoy it.

It has been hailed as the Achilles' heel of many surfers. How good is your backhand in all wave conditions? Do you dedicate enough time to riding waves with your back to the wall?

For many surfers, backside surfing is actually easier than its classic brother.

Although the pressure's on your back, as the curl drops energy over your butt and you're spat towards the shore, some riders say it's simple to pull cornered snaps and high-line cutbacks.

The moment you understand your backside surf, you'll unveil new frontiers for your dreams. Here are some of the immediate advantages:

  • Double the chances of riding waves;
  • Get the most of A-peak frames;
  • Ride waves others leave unridden;
  • Pull tricks and moves that you can't perform in forehand mode;
  • Get access to new wave peaks and surf spots;
  • Improve the quality of your overall surf;

Backside Surfing Tips

If you have problems with your backhand surfing, know that there are simple exercises you can do to get it right.

For example, while paddling for a wave - whether you're a natural footer or a goofy footer - try to position your surfboard almost parallel to the wave.

It's usually easier to avoid a sharp bottom turn and go straight to the surf line.

Try to apply more weight to your ankle as you drive down the wave wall to the end of the ride.

Also, roll your back foot to around 45 degrees of the stringer line. It will open your upper body to the trim line so that you can read the wave properly.

Open up your shoulders, align them with the rails, and position your leading arm on the same side as the wave face rather than on the opposite side with your trailing arm.

Feet positioning is critical in backhand surfing. Your back foot should be as far back as possible if you want to hit the lip after a bottom turn.

For speed, lift your arms in the direction of the surf line.

Repeating this process several times will teach your brain how to manage balance, weight, and joint movement while having a wave breaking against your back.

Finally, keep a relatively low stance as you take off, pop up on your board, and lead the turns with your front arm.

The tenth wave will seem easier. You'll notice several improvements in balance, feet/hip response, and drive.

Don't avoid backside surfing. Just go for it!

Take a look at the best advanced surfing tips and techniques.

Top Stories

AllWaves is a new wave pool technology from Belgium that allows surfing on an artificial lake, thus bringing surfing experiences closer to enthusiasts and landlocked surfers.

Umm Suqeim Beach, also known as Sunset Beach, is the home of surfing in Dubai. Here's why and how the Emirati surf break became a swell magnet in the region.

The waves at O2 SurfTown MUC are rolling. Europe's largest wave pool opens in Summer 2024 in Munich, Germany.

Welcome to "The End of the Road," one of the nicknames for the Paris 2024 Olympic surfing venue, Teahupoo.